Monday, August 15---Off day
The Cardinals traveled to Houston to take on the Astros in a two game interleague series. A quick two runs each in the first inning had the game tied from the start. The Astros added two more to take the lead, but in the fifth inning, a two-run home run off the bat of Tommy Pham tied the game back up.
A big sixth inning for the Cardinals sealed the deal. A leadoff walk by Matt Carpenter followed by a single by Brandon Moss put Carpenter on third, driven home by a Yadier Molina ground out. A follow up single by Jhonny Peralta set the table for Jedd Gyorko to hit a three-run blast into the Crawford Boxes in left center field. The home run was Gyorko’s only hit, but he made it count. Tommy Pham was 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Brandon Moss and Randal Grichuk were 2-for-4.
It was a rough start for Jaime Garcia, who gave up all five Astros runs in five innings pitched. Garcia served up five hits, including the first time in his career the lefty allowed three long balls. Alex Reyes pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and fanning four. Zach Duke and Seung-Hwan Oh combined for the final two scoreless innings. Despite Garcia’s rough start, he picked up his 10th win of the season. Oh earned his 12th save.
The Cardinals put another eight on the board in the final game of the Astros series. This time the long ball came from two different sources. Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a solo shot in the fourth inning, and Brandon Moss thumped a three-run blast in the seventh. Hazelbaker was 2-for-4 with two runs scored; Moss was 2-for-5. Stephen Piscotty plated two on a third inning single and was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Yadier Molina was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Randal Grichuk doubled in a run in the sixth inning,
Carlos Martinez was impressive, pitching seven strong innings, giving up only one run on three hits while fanning seven and walking one. Jonathan Broxton gave up a run in the eighth. Sam Tuivailala started the ninth but could not record an out and was lifted for Matt Bowman with the bases loaded. Bowman did his Houdini act and got out of the inning without any runs scoring.
Thursday, August 18---Off day
Friday, August 19---Cardinals 4 at Phillies 3 (11 innings)
The Cardinals were held scoreless by Phillies pitching until the ninth inning, but rallied to tie and take the game into extra innings. Yadier Molina singled but was out on a force play on a Jhonny Peralta ground ball. The play was originally called a double play with Peralta out at first, but the Cardinals challenged and the call was overturned, leaving Peralta on first. The replay was key, as Jedd Gyorko immediately followed Peralta with a two-run home run to tie the game. Randal Grichuk played the hero in the 11th and doubled in the winning run. Grichuk was 3-for-5 on the night; Gyorko was 2-for-5.
Starter Adam Wainwright had a quality start, giving up three runs in six innings pitched. Two scores came on solo home runs. Wainwright struck out five and walked two. It was an improvement on Wainwright’s prior start, which was a disaster, but it still lacked the old Wainwright dominance. Jonathan Broxton pitched to three batters in the seventh, struck out one, gave up a single and walked a batter. Zach Duke got the remaining two outs. Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless eighth. Seung-Hwan Oh hurled two scoreless innings, followed by Alex Reyes, who picked up his first save after a scoreless 11th inning. Oh was the winning pitcher.
The Cardinals did not fare as well in the second game in the Phillies series. Luke Weaver, in his second major league start, continued to give up runs early. Weaver surrendered a solo home run on his second pitch of the first inning. Weaver settled down a little bit and went on to strike out six and walk no one, but he gave up two additional runs in his five innings of work.
Jonathan Broxton continued to struggle, as he allowed another run on a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the sixth. Broxton did get out of the inning without further damage. Zach Duke added a scoreless seventh, and Sam Tuivailala pitched much better than in his previous outing, tossing a scoreless eighth. Weaver suffered his first major league loss.
There was no late rally for the Cardinals offense this time. Their only runs came on a two-run home run by Jeremy Hazelbaker in the third inning. Matt Carpenter was 2-for-3, Jhonny Peralta was 3-for-4, and Weaver got his first two major league hits in both of his at bats. Weaver also was on base and scored on the Hazelbaker home run.
Sunday’s game was a rout, mostly played in the rain in Philadelphia. The Cardinals scored one run in the first on a sac fly by Brandon Moss. After that, it was mostly home runs. A solo shot by Brandon Moss, a solo shot by Stephen Piscotty, and two-run blasts by Jedd Gyorko and Jeremy Hazelbaker. Another two runs scored in the fourth on a single by Mike Leake. Greg Garcia was 2-for-5, Piscotty was 2-for-4, Jhonny Peralta was 3-for-5, and Gyorko was 2-for-5.
Mike Leake earned his ninth win of the season, going seven scoreless innings, allowing seven hits, fanning eight and walking one. Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jerome Williams added a scoreless ninth.
Long Ball Onslaught
Through Sunday, the Cardinals have homered in 11 straight games, including 10 contests with multiple long balls.
St. Louis leads the National League with 173 home runs this season, including 50 multi-home run games, tied for third-most in MLB. Individually, nine players have 11 home runs or more, including Brandon Moss with 23 and Jedd Gyorko with 20.
St. Louis has tied the all-time MLB single season pinch hit home run record with 14.
Successful Road Trip
The Cardinals were 4-1 in the road series against the Astros and the Phillies and finished their nine-game road trip at 6-3. The club is an MLB-best 38-24 away from home this season.
NL Central Standings
St. Louis is 12 games out of first place, three games ahead of the third-place Pirates. The Cardinals are also 1.5 games ahead of the Marlins for the second wild card and 1.5 games behind the Giants for the first wild card.
Randal Grichuk has an OPS of 1.150 with one HR, one triple, four doubles and four RBI.
Tommy Pham has an OPS of 1.178. He has one HR one double, and two RBI.
Brandon Moss has an OPS of 1.000. He has two HRs and five RBI.
Jeremy Hazelbaker has an OPS of 1.333 in nine plate appearances. He has two HRs and five RBI.
Carlos Martinez is 1-0, with an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.57.
Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.86.
Zach Duke has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.
Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.
Greg Garcia has an OPS of .450.
Jaime Garcia has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.
Jonathan Broxton has an ERA of 7.71 and a WHIP of 2.57.
Kevin Siegrist has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 2.25.
A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups
The leadoff spot has been a mixture of Greg Garcia, Tommy Pham, Kolten Wong, and Jeremy Hazelbaker. It appears Matt Carpenter has been removed from the leadoff spot indefinitely.
The second spot in the lineup has been steadily held by Stephen Piscotty.
With the injury to Matt Holliday, Carpenter has been moved to the third spot in the lineup.
The clean-up spot has been primarily held by Brandon Moss, with one start by Yadier Molina.
The number five hitter has been primarily Molina, with one start by Jhonny Peralta.
The six hole has been occupied by Peralta and Jedd Gyorko.
The seventh spot has been a mixture of Gyorko and Randal Grichuk.
The eighth spot has been the home of Wong, Grichuk, and Hazelbaker.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
The Cardinals sent RHP Lance Lynn on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals, where he has since made two appearances.
The Cardinals placed RHP Seth Maness on the 15-day disabled list for a right forearm strain. In the corresponding move, the Cardinals recalled RHP Sam Tuivailala from Memphis.
The Cardinals sent C Brayan Pena on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Seth Maness (right forearm strain) was placed on the 15-day DL. It was initially reported that Maness would undergo Tommy John surgery, but it was later reported he had a ligament repair surgery instead. Maness is optimistic he will be ready for Spring Training in 2017.
Lance Lynn (Tommy John surgery, right arm) began a rehab assignment for the Palm Beach Cardinals. Lynn had Tommy John surgery in November 2015 and is ahead of schedule in his recovery. Lynn hopes to be able to pitch for the Cardinals in some capacity during the remainder of the season, but that possibility has not been confirmed by the team.
Catcher Brayan Pena (left knee inflammation) began a rehab assignment for the Palm Beach Cardinals. It is unknown how long the rehab assignment will last (maximum is 20 days, but the minor league season will end on Labor Day) or when he will be reinstated to the Cardinals big league roster.
Aledmys Diaz (fractured thumb) continues on the 15-day DL. No timetable has been set for his return to the roster though the Cardinals were hopeful on having him back by the beginning of September.
Jordan Walden (right shoulder strain) has been on the DL since April. Walden is likely to begin a rehab assignment in the coming week at Palm Beach.
Tyler Lyons (right knee stress reaction) was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60 day DL. Lyons will remain on crutches throughout the month of August, and will need the month of September for rehab and strengthening. Lyons is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.
Trevor Rosenthal (right shoulder inflammation) continues on the 15-day DL. There were reports that Rosenthal would begin a throwing program shortly, perhaps within the next week.
Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) is on the 15-day DL. Wacha is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
Matt Holliday (fractured right thumb) was injured when hit by a pitch and was placed on the 15-day DL. Holliday had surgery on his thumb and is hopeful to play again for the Cardinals sometime before the season ends.
Matt Adams (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 15-day DL. No timetable for his return has been announced and no rehab assignment has been made as of yet.
Following the last game of the Phillies series on Sunday, the Cardinals have a travel day on Monday to travel home and will begin a three-game series against the Mets on Tuesday. Pitching probables are Jaime Garcia on Tuesday, Carlos Martinez on Wednesday, and Adam Wainwright on Thursday.
The home stand continues on Friday as the Cardinals begin a weekend interleague series against the Oakland Athletics. This is the final interleague series of the season for the Cardinals. Pitching probables are not announced, but without changes to the rotation, they will likely be Luke Weaver, Mike Leake and Jaime Garcia.
Following the weekend Oakland series, the Cardinals will travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers in a three-game series beginning a week from Monday. The Cardinals have a travel day on that Thursday and travel to Cincinnati for a weekend series against the Reds.
Beginning with the Brewers series on August 29, the Cardinals play only NL Central teams until traveling to San Francisco on September 15 to take on the Giants.
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